Circa Sports sign of things to come

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CEO Derek Stevens said it’s fitting that Circa Resort & Casino finished installing a sign at the top of the 44-story tower on the opening day of Major League Baseball.

Stevens said he hopes the installation of the 34-foot-high C on the south face to complete Circa is literally a sign of things to come with the 777-room downtown resort whose hotel will open by the end of the year. The 1.25 million square-foot casino will first debut Oct. 28th in what will feature the world’s largest sportsbook at three stories and that accommodates 1,000 people.

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Moments after the crane hoisted the C high above as the last piece in the four-ton, 68-feet wide sign, Stevens reflected on what it meant to him and what the upcoming opening of the property means to Las Vegas that’s dealing with rising coronavirus cases, increased deaths and softening of demand after the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“Having the sign go up is the next chapter of what’s transpiring with our project in Las Vegas and in a year like 2020 I would say having the sign go up makes me feel better than I actually would have been in normal times,” Stevens. “It’s important there’s good projects out there, and it’s important that we show something that’s a good story out there.”

Stevens even reflected on the sign installation on MLB opening day and next week’s restart of the NBA and NHL seasons along with starting  NFL training camps.

“It’s ironic we’re putting the big C up on opening day,” Stevens said. “It signifies the comeback of sports. I’m a big baseball fan so to have this go up on Major League Baseball opening day is terrific. I’m excited about sports coming back. Hopefully, sports help not just Vegas but the country as a whole and get people excited for the potential comeback for the whole country.”

Stevens said the demand since the Fourth of July weekend “hasn’t been great” and has been “slow the last couple of weeks. Everybody needs to feel safe, and it’s a bit of a struggle right now.”

Stevens said he’s a big believer, however, that there’s pent-up demand, but the question now is when. He said they’ll be ready to open Oct. 28th.

“Obviously I’m very concerned about what’s happening. Everybody in the community and everybody in the country is, but the virus is dictating the schedule and not any of us,” Stevens said. … “Hopefully, the environment allows us to open up with a bang. I feel very confident is the greatest city in America that knows how to reinvent itself, Vegas is going to come back strong. It’s just a question of when.”

As for whether the mandate for masks implemented by Gov. Steve Sisolak, effective June 26th, is making a difference, Stevens said he will follow what the director of the governor, CDC and Nevada Gaming Control Board and hopes that makes a difference. He said “you’re interviewing the wrong guy” when asked if Las Vegas resorts will be allowed to remain open despite rising infection rates.

Stevens said Circa has started the hiring process and urged prospective employees to go to his website. He said they’ll have about 1,000 employees when it opens. That will be welcome news to the casino employees that have been laid off this month by Boyd Gaming and properties along the Strip.

“I think there’s a lot of hope with this project, and we feel better than I originally would have,” Stevens said.

Stevens talked about how a construction flaw in the project has gained fans and even prospective guests are mentioning calling reservations about it. He said it has become a “story of its own.”

A window panel with white coloring is out of place on the 30th floor and sticks out from the glass exterior. It’s called the MoDot after one of the project’s engineers, Mo Pierce.

“It’s something that came about and goes down with our personality of let’s not take things too seriously,” Stevens said. “The bottom line, we had a screw up on the building and we have a brilliant engineer in Mo Pierce. It was installed incorrectly. Eventually, it will probably get reversed although this MoDot it seems to gain some affection from a number of people. We will figure out what we do at some point, but we haven’t made that decision yet. If there’s enough people that want to save the MoDot, maybe we’ll save the MoDot.

About the Author

Buck Wargo

Buck Wargo is a former journalist with the Los Angeles Times and has been based in Las Vegas as a business, real estate and gaming reporter since 2005.

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